Nanoengineering of Ruthenium and Platinum-based Nanocatalysts by Continuous-Flow Chemistry for Renewable Energy Applications

  • Noktan Mohammed AlYami

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This thesis presents an integrated study of nanocatalysts for heterogenous catalytic and electrochemical processes using pure ruthenium (Ru) with mixed-phase and platinum-based nanomaterials synthesized by continuous-flow chemistry. There are three major challenges to the application of nanomaterials in heterogenous catalytic reactions and electrocatalytic processes in acidic solution. These challenges are the following: (i) controlling the size, shape and crystallography of nanoparticles to give the best catalytic properties, (ii) scaling these nanoparticles up to a commercial quantity (kg per day) and (iii) making stable nanoparticles that can be used catalytically without degrading in acidic electrolytes. Some crucial limitations of these nanostructured materials in energy conversion and storage applications were overcome by continuous-flow chemistry. By using a continuous-flow reactor, the creation of scalable nanoparticle systems was achieved and their functionality was modified to control the nanoparticles’ physical and chemical characteristics. The nanoparticles were also tested for long-term stability, to make sure these nanoparticles were feasible under realistic working conditions. These nanoparticles are (1) shape- and crystallography-controlled ruthenium (Ru) nanoparticles, (2) size-controlled platinum-metal (Pt-M= nickel (Ni) & copper (Cu)) nanooctahedra (while maintaining morphology) and (3) core-shell platinum@ruthenium (Pt@Ru) nanoparticles where an ultrathin ruthenium shell was templated onto the platinum core. Thus, a complete experimental validation of the formation of a scalable amount of these nanoparticles and their catalytic activity and stability towards the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in acid medium, hydrolysis of ammonia borane (AB) along with plausible explanations were provided.
Date of AwardApr 15 2017
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Science and Engineering
SupervisorOsman Bakr (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Nanomaterials
  • Bimetallic
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Flow Chemistry
  • Water-Splitting

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